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Online content made by local productions often attracts attention because of a couple of reasons: it either has a very star-studded cast, or it broaches a controversial topic that would never make it to television. Sometimes it’s just experimental content that again, wouldn’t be welcome on TV, which picks up TRPs from family drama. Broaching the story of several young boys and their passion for cricket, Barwan Khiladi is fresh but not exactly experimental or controversial. Barring the expletive locker room conversations, it could easily have been made for TV. Written by Shahid Dogar and directed by Adnan Sarwar, it’s a Mahira Khan and Nina Kashif Production, with a young cast that includes Danyal Zafar, Shahveer Jafry, Kinza Hashmi and Sarmad Khoosat in key roles. There’s more to the 7-episode drama and here’s why you need to watch it, if you haven’t already…


No saas-bahu dramas, no toxic relationships between jaded lovers, no illicit affairs – Baarwan Khiladi is a story of sports and politics. Sure, there’s love in there (because love – or lack of – is always a part of every story in real life too), but that’s not the only thing that drives these characters to do what they do. The story is based on a cricket league, Shaheen Eleven, that trains young cricketers and allows them to compete with other leagues, paving the way for bigger leagues, and even the national cricket team of Pakistan. The story touches upon on class privilege and corruption, and how Akbar, the main character played by Danyal Zafar, comes from a humble background and navigates through those obstacles to succeed in life. He also has a rivalry with fellow cricketer, Jahangir (played by Shahveer Jafri), who comes from an affluent family and uses his privilege to his advantage. A story about cricket? In Pakistan? Count us in!

Young cast

We’re sick of the lack of youth representation on TV (and film), so we mean it when we say that it’s refreshing to see a local production that features a bevy of millenials. Danyal Zafar, Shahveer Jafri and Kinza Hashmi, the lead stars of Baarwan Khiladi are young, fresh faces and we’re just glad that it’s a show for young people, featuring young people. In fact, even the videos done by the cast during the promotional tour of the show are fun to watch!

Mahira Khan’s first production

Aren’t you curious to see what Mahira Khan has put together? We are! With Baarwan Khiladi being Mahira’s first foray into production, it’s interesting to see the shift from being an actor to being a producer. One can also tell that she has put all her years of industry experience to good use. Of course, the show has its flaws, but we are more focused on what Mahira got right instead of what she got wrong. The production value of the show is definitely worth writing about. The shoot locations, wardrobes, cinematography, dialogues – everything has been carefully planned and kept into consideration.



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If you decide to watch the show, the performances are sure to keep you hooked. Danyal Zafar shines as Akbar, the ‘baarwan khiladi’ of the league. He’s endearing, believable, and strong in the face of adversity. His interactions with his mother (played by Saba Faisal) are sure to bring a smile to your face.

We are also enjoying Sarmad Khoosat as the angry, corrupt but motivated coach who is constantly abusing and often bullying his players. It’s a sharp contrast from the image we associate Sarmad Khoosat with, which is why its even more fascinating to watch him play such a character.

Celebrity guest appearances

To be honest, you had us at ‘Fawad Khan’ at the time of this show’s launch. It’s been way too long since we saw our favourite star on the big/small screen and even small glimpses of him will do just fine right now. We won’t give away details of his appearance, you’ll simply have to watch yourself.



Adnan Sarwar 

If you’re a fan of Adnan Sarwar, then you’ll enjoy this web series a lot. Adnan has a very distinct style of telling stories, and we know he loves sports/athletics because of his other two notable productions: Shah (based on the life of a professional boxer) and Motorcycle Girl (based on the story of a Pakistani girl who completed a solo motorcycle journey across Pakistan).


What’s a sports show without an adrenaline-loaded OST? While watching the trailer, one of the many things that will stand out is the song playing in the background, which has empowering lyrics and a very anthem-like sound. The music of the show has been done by Mohsin Allah Ditta, while the OST has been produced by Shiraz Uppal. The OST, ‘Aelaan’ is a feel-good song, definitely something one can listen to when in the mood for something calm and soothing.

One Comment

  • May I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what theyre discussing over the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that youre not more popular because you certainly have the gift.

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